Love puzzles? Interested in art? Enjoy a good story? Well, the Codex Silenda is the trifecta.
Designer Brady Whitney has the imagination of a teller of tall tales and the soul of a traditional artisan, and his latest project is a gorgeous blend of both of these gifts.
The Codex Silenda is a five-page book that features five intricate puzzles. Want to move to the next page? Well, you have to solve the unique puzzle before you can unlock the bolts and proceed. (Hey, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.)
“As the puzzler moves through the book, a story begins to unfold, depicting the story of an apprentice in Da Vinci’s Workshop who encounters the same Codex,” Whitney explains. “However, in the story the Codex acts as a trap set by Da Vinci to capture any would be spies/snoopy apprentices in order to protect his work. The only way to escape is to solve each of the puzzles before the master returns from his trip.”
Of course, while you’re scratching your head and trying to figure out what’s stopping the Mechanical Iris from opening in the first puzzle (pictured above), you’ll be marveling at the laser-cut-wood construction and sturdy book.
No mass-produced shortcuts here either. Although the precision-cut laser process speeds up production, all the puzzle books will be assembled by hand in the U.S. Initially only 500 Codices will be made, but Whitney’s hoping to take more orders after the initial commitment has been fulfilled.
Whitney credits his boyhood adventures and his mom sending him outside to play with launching his creative spirit.
“Those years of childhood instilled a sense of imagination and wonder that still drives my designs today,” he says. “Taking in everything and being able to create and design things that no one else has imagined or thought up yet is the very thing that fuels my passion.”
(Check out his other work here.)
Whitney wants the person who picks up his puzzle book to be part of the creative team, not merely a customer making a purchase.
“The interaction between the user and the product should be both visually pleasing and physically engaging for all involved,” he explains. “I simply want to challenge the user, improve my abilities, and continue to discover new and exciting designs to benefit all.”
We’re intrigued by the whole book and suspect it may well drive us crazy. For example, one page is called “Geneva Gears” and features a “Geneva Wheel Mechanism” and a series of gears and wheels. You have to put the gears in the correct places to unlock the page, but since there are more slots than gears, how do you figure out what fits where? And there’s a page that’s locked by a four-rune code in a language you’ll not understand. Hmmm…
The Codex Silenda looks impressive, so at least you can show it off as a work of art even if you can’t solve its mysteries. But, you’ll probably keep picking it up, determined to get to the heart of the puzzle.